Sometimes the first choice is the best one, even if you need to go the long way to get back there. Two years after he originally signed on to helm the “Tupac” biopic project, director John Singleton is back on the job.
“Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with,” Singleton said. “His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation.”
Why Singleton Is The Perfect Choice
Singleton knows his subject better than just about anyone in Hollywood. After smashing into the game with the Oscar-nominated “Boyz n the Hood” in 1991, Singleton came back two years later with “Poetic Justice,” a drama starring Janet Jackson as poet Justice, who falls for postal clerk Lucky, played by Shakur.
After his first big role in 1992’s “Juice,” Shakur cemented his status as a potential leading man in “Poetic Justice.” The rapper attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a teen, where he studied acting, poetry and ballet, which helped him pull off a natural transition from radio to the screen. Additionally, Singleton’s direction brought out a sensitive, nuanced side of Shakur’s personality that was a nice balance to the rapper’s more hardcore musical persona.
Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, is an executive producer on the film. The project has had a rough path to production because of legal battles between the studio and the estate, which she oversees. At one point, “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua was attached to take over after Singleton initially dropped out, but he left the project after failing to find the right lead or script.
Singleton seems like the right person to bring the project home because of his relationship with Shakur after the filming of “Justice” and his ongoing closeness to the Shakur family since the rapper’s death.
Who Will Play Tupac?
The next biggest question centers on who will take on the iconic lead role? MTV has speculated that the short list could include “Fruitvale Station” actor Michael B. Jordan, “Notorious” lead Anthony Mackie, Jamie Hector of “The Wire” or “X-Men: First Class” star Edi Mue.
At one point, rapper Soulja Boy told MTV he was considering auditioning for the role. Production on “Tupac” is expected to start in June.